- Mexico Drug War: More Than 40 Killed in Weekend Violence [Huffington Post]
- Being in a Gang is An Addiction Like Any Other [The Guardian]
- Autopsy Finds No Alcohol or Illegal Drugs in NFL Star Seau [Chicago Tribune]
- 'Teen Mom' Jenelle Evans Finally Quits Smoking! [Gather Celebs]
- Police: Drunk Lab Tech Lowered Pants, Freed Monkeys [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
- Drunk Driving Florida Teen Informs Deputy His Father Is an "Autobot" [Miami New Times]
West Virginia University has been crowned the number one party school of 2013 by The Princeton Review—claiming the title for a third time after taking top "honors" in 1997 and 2007—and WVU administrators are not enthused. “If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs. But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility,” says WVU spokeswoman Becky Lofstead. “As always, we focus on celebrating and supporting WVU’s long history of academic achievements. Our students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends have made it clear that is their focus as well.” Whatever the focus really is, the students have demonstrated a laser-like determination to party judging by the laundry list of police citations issued during move-in weekend alone: 100 underage drinking violations, 39 open container violations, 11 “nuisance parties,” seven citations of disorderly conduct, five citations of obstructing an officer, two citations of battery of an officer and three citations for drunk driving. And all of these went down between Friday and Sunday before classes began on Monday. The city of Morgantown also reports it responded to 115 WVU fires last semester alone. Although its ranking may enhance WVU's appeal to graduating high school freshman with a penchant for booze and pyromania, parents may be pushing their kids towards Utah's Brigham Young University, which has earned the title of Top Stone-Cold Sober School for the fifteenth year in a row.
British pop star Geri Halliwell, who once went by the moniker "Ginger Spice," has said "goodbye" to sugar—because she can't have it in moderate amounts. ''I do try to abstain from sugar. That's my thing," she says. "'I'm addicted to it…If I have one little bit, it's a trigger." The red-headed member of 90's pop group The Spice Girls has abstained from booze as well—in order to look and feel younger, and also to be a better mum to her six-year-old daughter. ''Alcohol is full of sugar. Besides, if I'm going to find the balance of being a mum and having a social life, I just can't put a hangover in there.''
Carnival Cruises is testing out a new drinking option that will appeal greatly to those intending to get soused at sea, despite the risk of encouraging passengers—perhaps quite literally—to go overboard. At around $50 per day, their all-you-can-drink package, encouragingly called “My Awesome Bar Program,” would allow cruisers unlimited wine, beer and spirits—as well as non-alcoholic frozen drinks. Initial testing for the program is set for only one of their ships, the Carnival Victory, but if successful, the company plans to expand the program to its entire fleet. Potential problems aren't hard to envisage. Smashed shipmates may be obnoxious at best—and at worst, have been known to cause mass brawls or throw small children overboard. A quick search of Carnival Cruise's own official forums reveals tales of unruly intoxicated teens and drunken groping. Perhaps such considerations are why Carnival is actually the last of its major rivals to offer an unlimited drink ticket—with Royal Caribbean rolling out the program on three of its ships last year and Celebrity Cruises offering such a program fleet-wide since 2010.
The Country Liberal Party (CLP) of the Northwestern Territory of Australia (NT) is looking into opening "prison farms" for repeat alcoholic offenders as a method of rehabiliation. The Territory Labor Government's Banned Drinkers Register currently has 2,369 people who have been found drunk and disorderly at least three times in a six-month period, or have been referred by their doctor or police. Under the current laws, these offenders cannot purchase alcohol anywhere besides a pub or bar. However, the CLP has said they plan to build two of the prison farms—at a cost of $80 million to run—as a means of rehabilitating repeat offenders. "Under our program, if you get picked up three times in six months, you will be put before a tribunal," said Opposition alcohol policy spokesman Peter Styles. "At that tribunal, you will be able to do voluntary rehab with an alcohol and other drug service provider. If you choose not to do the voluntary program, you will be taken to a mandatory rehabilitation facility—there are two proposed in the Territory—where you will complete a three-month rehab program."
Unsurprisingly, there is vehement opposition to the proposal which is being described as dangerous and not having any proven success. "There is no evidence that the prison farm approach is going to work," says Dr. John Boffa, a spokesman for the People's Alcohol Action Coalition. "Even if you took everyone of the dependent drinkers now—and there are thousands of them in the NT—and put them in a prison farm for three months, they are only talking about three months, most of those people will relapse. It is like putting your head in a bucket and saying 'forget about research and the evidence, we are doing what is popular.' It is actually bordering on criminal and people will die as a result of those policies." The CLP's policy also calls for the possible scrapping of restrictions on alcohol sales and the reinstatement of poker machines in social clubs in some communities.
An anonymous Hollywood actress has penned an open letter to xojane.com to say that she is finally kicking her long-standing addiction to Adderall—and credits pill addict blogger Cat Marnell for inspiring her to quit. "Everyone around me is tweaked out of their minds, but I just flushed my pills down the toilet," declares the unknown starlet, who largely blames the medical community for the Adderall "epidemic." She began using the drug in 2008 when it was prescribed to her by a doctor, who was also charging her $2,000 per session. "It’s like getting me hooked on what is considered the socially acceptable, totally legal version of cocaine wasn’t enough for him," she writes. "He had to financially screw me, too. And thanks to medical jokes like him, everyone in this city is tweaked out of their brains on the stuff." The actress also admits that her use of the stimulant had wrecked her social life and was beginning to do the same to her career. "I was attracting the wrong men and creating dumb controversy," she writes. "Not on like a Lohan level, but flirting with it. I wouldn’t say I was a total trainwreck, but you could definitely hear the rumbling." Although she had been tempted to write for xoJane before about the dangers of Adderall use, she says it wasn't until reading the New York Times feature on Marnell that she decided to come clean, and quit using. "It made me sad," she writes. "It's time to stop. It's time to lead a more mindful existence. This column is dedicated to her. Let's leave it at that."